The ascent among the mountains from Bologna is very fine, full of mental excitement, and bracing alike to the nerves and the intellect. Less elevated and less terrific than the Alps, the chain which divides the Bolognese from Tuscany exhibits a more luxuriant beauty; which strongly contrasts with the occasional sterility of its more lofty abrupt masses, and affords alternate images of savage and of civilized nature, of the most striking opposition and picturesque effect. The Palazzo Pitti, vast and noble as it is, and most wonderful as the house of a merchant in the middle ages, is still the most notable for its precious collections of pictures, the chefs-d’œuvre of the Tuscan, Florentine, and Roman schools. The Casa Medici is indescribably imposing. It is built of hewn stone: its first story is of the Tuscan, its second of the Doric, and its third of the Corinthian order.